Since he moved to New Zealand five years ago, Thien (Steven) Duc Nguyen has dreamed of fusing different cuisines into an amalgam of delicious street food for his customers. Recently, the award-winning chef opened Buns n Rolls in Glenfield.
Situated in the Food Court on Level Three at Glenfield Mall, Buns n Rolls specialises in bao buns with fillings such as crispy pork belly with pickled cucumber; grilled chicken with cabbage and hot sour sauce; slow-cooked pulled beef with crispy garlic and cucumber; and crispy eggplant with coriander.
It also serves a range of fresh rice paper rolls that feature fillings such as pork and prawns; kaffir lime chicken; lemongrass beef; and tofu with soy.
The bao buns have proved incredibly popular. He also offers them as combos. Options include salads, rice and dumplings. Everything is made on the premises. Thien says, “This is the same quality food you will find in a high-quality Asian fusion restaurant. What will cost you $15 in a restaurant will only cost you $5 here. Not everyone can afford to eat at expensive restaurants, but everyone should have the opportunity to taste these dishes.”
Thien loves the North Shore and lives in Glenfield with his wife and two young children. “It is great because people love the food we cook," he says, "This is a great place for experimenting with different types of cooking and foods. The people really enjoy how we fuse different flavours to create new tastes.”
While this is Thien’s first foray into part-owning a business, he has extensive experience as a chef, having cooked for the Vietnamese prime minister. He has also won awards for his cooking. He says, “I initially came in New Zealand to run the kitchen at an Asian fusion restaurant in Takapuna [Tok Tok]. I have also cooked at Scandal restaurant in Ponsonby. Cooking is my passion and I have always wanted to explore my ideas about providing this kind of fusion street food to New Zealanders. Buns n Rolls is the beginning of this ambition.
“I intend to teach other chefs how to create these flavoursome dishes so we can expand the business across the country. With my business partner, Harry Nguyen, I want to open many more Buns n Rolls.”
Buns n Rolls, Food Court, Level 3, Glenfield Mall
Contact: Phone 022 644 1651
Open seven days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 9am - 6pm; Thursday and Friday 9am - 9pm; Sunday 10am-5.30pm